Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘alternate history

How Did Two of History’s Most Crushing Military Victories Go So Wrong?

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FT 17

Military force is often touted as a solution to problems, especially in militarized countries such as the USA and Israel. And given great credence in the past for what military force has accomplished. Generally this sort of military can-do analysis is of the comic book variety, but sadly  it tends to be pervasive. Today I will examine two of histories most resounding military victories, and discuss why they not only both should have been done differently, and why each of them contained the seeds of ultimate defeat. These two victories are the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the 1940 German attack on France. They were two of the most stunning and unexpected military victories in history, what went wrong?

Pearl Harbor. The classic and in some ways the ultimate surprise attack, nowadays known as a preemptive strike. The entire American Pacific battleship fleet was caught by surprise and sunk. Basically America’s plan to defend its Pacific holdings when war broke out with Japan was sent to the bottom of Pearl Harbor in a  few short hours. Japan basically crippled the US Navy with a single air raid, how could that not be anything but a stunning victory? Unfortunately it was an illusory victory. For one thing the nature of naval warfare was changing, and battleships were no longer the ultimate weapon they had been for decades. Secondly, every single battleship that was sunk with the exception of the Arizona, was re-floated and back in action within a year. Lastly, the attack was a huge propaganda boost for the USA, in one fell swoop Japan had sunk eight obsolete battleships … and utterly destroyed America’s isolationist and peace factions.

The way to best see how this was a mistake is to look at alternatives. There are two possibilities. For one, Japan could simply have attacked Britain and Holland and seized the oil fields in Dutch Indonesia. While the USA might have voted to declare war on Japan, they might not have. At the very least the war would not have been as popular in the USA, and a negotiated settlement might have been possible. More importantly though, the Japanese had wildly underestimated their tactical superiority at the beginning of World War Two. If the USA had declared war on Japan, or Japan had simply attacked the USA without attacking Pearl Harbor, the USA would more than likely have followed its plan for war with Japan. And that plan was to send the battleship fleet to the Philippines. And that battleship fleet would almost certainly have suffered the same fate as the Repulse and the Prince of Wales, sunk by Japanese aircraft. And in this case the battleships would have gone down in deep water, far fewer of their trained crew members would have survived, and by no means would they have been re-floated and been back in action within a year. Basically a case can be made that in retrospect, however brilliant it may have been, the attack on Pearl Harbor was the worst option the Japanese had.

Then there’s the Battle of France in 1940. In World War One, Germany attacked France with pretty much everything they had. It resulted in four years of trench warfare and millions of deaths, and Germany ultimately lost. In World War Two, Germany defeated France in ten days! The fighting lasted for six weeks in total, but on the tenth day German tanks reached the coast and cut off the bulk of the French army from supply. The president of France called Winston Churchill and told him it was over, and that he should start trying to get the British troops back to England. Which they did at the historic retreat from Dunkirk. And that was that, Germany’s historic enemy crushed and humiliated at a cost of about 40,000 dead. Hitler even had the railroad car that Germany surrendered in in World War One dragged out of a museum and forced the French to sign their surrender in it. The defeat was so profound and unexpected that the French people basically went into shock, and there was no resistance to the German occupiers for at least two years. How could it have gotten any better than this?

Well, it could have. The big problem with the Fall of France is that the British got away! If the British forces in France in 1940 had been destroyed or captured, there would have been no British troops to send to North Africa to defend against Italy. In fact there wouldn’t even have been enough troops to defend England against a  German invasion. To say that the course of the war would have been different is an understatement. How could this have come about? Well, the original German plan had been a repeat of World War One, a massive invasion through Belgium. If the Germans had gone with the original plan, they would have suffered higher losses, but they still would have won. The German blitzkrieg tactics made their forces vastly superior to the French and British forces in the field who were still fighting World War One style. More importantly, the BEF, the British Expeditionary Force, would have been right in front of the main German advance, and almost certainly would have suffered devastating losses. There would have been no Dunkirk evacuation, because most of the British troops would have been killed or captured by the German steam roller through Belgium.

And in both my examples, there’s another layer of failure. In both cases the victor learned the wrong lesson from their victory. At Pearl Harbor, the Japanese got an exaggerated idea of the power of carrier strike forces. When they tried one again at Midway less than a year later, they suffered a truly crushing defeat, one that sealed the fate of the war for Japan. And in France, the German’s spectacular success convinced Hitler that he was a military genius on par with Alexander or Napoleon. He wasn’t, and he proceeded to make one disastrous military decision after another. If Hitler had gone with his generals’ plans in France, his victory wouldn’t have been as spectacular, but it would have been more thorough. And Hitler might have been more prone to heed his generals’ advice as the war went on.

Is there any lesson in all this? Just the point I make all the time. The results of war are wildly unpredictable, and even spectacularly successful military ventures can has disastrous unintended consequences. 9/11 had its roots in the stunningly “successful” desert storm war with Iraq. This leads to the second point, which I usually leave unstated; people who make confident predictions about the results of any proposed war are idiots.

Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image is probably Public Domain under US copyright law. It was likely taken by the German military during World War Two. It’s a destroyed French FT 17 tank. That’s a dead French soldier beside it. The FT 17 is a World War One tank. Hundreds of them were taken out of storage and used to equip hastily raised units at the start of the World War Two, which led to the myth that France lost the war because the Germans had better tanks.)

Written by unitedcats

November 30, 2012 at 7:20 am

Did Adolf Hitler Really Die in 1945?

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A friend asked me this recently, did Hitler really die in 1945? It was a staple mystery of my youth, the circumstances of his death were muddy, so there was lots of idle speculation after the war. I even remember it coming up in a third grade classroom, and the teacher saying that even if he was alive, he’d be a very old frail man by then (1967 or so.) There were a couple of pictures of his supposed corpse floating around, none of them very convincing. To the best of my knowledge now, these photos have all been long debunked, one was even a snapshot of Hitler taking a nap. Granted most people accepted that he died in the bunker as history says, but what’s the real story?

The real story gets muddy very early on. For whatever reason, Stalin decided to confuse and obscure Hitler’s fate after the war, ordering his minions into secrecy, and giving conflicting stories to his American and British allies. The Allies themselves were in fact confused in the immediate aftermath of the war. I mean, yes, the Nazis had indeed announced Hitler’s death in the final days of the regime, so most believed he was indeed dead, but no one knew for sure. However, within a year or two of the end of the war, both historians and Allied intelligence agencies had extensively interviewed the survivors of the last days of the war in Hitler’s bunker, and satisfied themselves that the essential details of Hitler and Eva Braun’s death were accurate.

And that’s where the story stood for decades. Historians satisfied, popular belief tinged by understandable rumours and speculations. And then the Soviet Union collapsed, and the details of the Soviet investigation and corpse recovery became available to the west. And the story was that the Soviets had recovered Hitler’s charred  bones, confirmed they were his through his dentist, hidden the bones for decades, then dug them up and destroyed them. And that was that, mystery solved.

Well, not really. I think it’s safe to say that the preponderance of the evidence, and the lack of any evidence of any escape, indicates that the historical account of his death is accurate. And until recently, I would have argued that it was a slam dunk. Today, not so sure. What triggered my re-evaluation was the discovery of the story of the submarine pictured below. This is U-530, a German U-boat active from 1943 until the end of the war, sinking three allied ships and surviving the war. So how does U-530 figure into the mystery of Hitler’s death?

Maybe it doesn’t, but there is a mystery. When the war ended U-530 was at sea. And instead of surrendering to the Allies, she sailed to Argentina and surrendered in July 1945, two months after the war ended. The Allies had some questions for the captain of U-530. Why had it taken him two months to sail to Argentina? He couldn’t say. Why had he jettisoned his ship’s deck gun? Shrug. Why did none of his crew have any identification? Silence. And where was the ship’s log? Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth didnt know. Mysterious, eh? Especially since U-53o had a prior history of top secret missions, rendezvousing with a Japanese submarine in mid 1944.

Conspiracy theorists maintain that it dropped Hitler and supplies off at a secret base in Antarctica, where the Nazi’s plot to rule the world to this day as they develop flying saucer technology. Yeah, right. Good comic book idea there. However, it is within the realm of possibility that U-530 stopped somewhere off the coast of Argentina and put someone ashore. Many Nazis fled to Argentina and Paraguay after World War Two, there was a sizable German immigrant population, and its a good bet the Nazis had intelligence assets there that survived the war. (Safe houses, money, agents, connections.) If there was anywhere on Earth where Hitler might be able to go to ground, Argentina was it.

Anything else trigger my re-evaluation? Consideration of the extreme muddiness of the evidence. Reading that a skull fragment the Soviets had purported to be Hitler’s was revealed that of a young woman by DNA testing. Realizing that if Hitler had gotten away, both the allies and the Russians had good motivation to hide the fact. Realizing that if anyone had the resources and fanatical followers to pull off such a deception, it would be Hitler. So while I think there is every possibility that Hitler died in the bunker, and an excellent case can be made that he did so, it’s not incontrovertible. Granted, at this point he would be over 120 years old, so it’s a safe bet that he’s dead now.

Right? Still, the Nazis did all sorts of medical experiments that others would never conduct due to ethical concerns, could Hitler still be enjoying a tall glass of apple juice (his favourite dink) at some obscure Argentine cafe? Until further evidence emerges, who can say?

(The above images are claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. The first two are absolutely public domain. The third one is all over the web and I can’t find its origin, if anyone knows I will properly attribute it. The top image is the last known photograph of Hitler, taken just outside the bunker two days before his death. The middle image is the U-530 interred in Argentina. The bottom image requires no explanation.)

Written by unitedcats

February 13, 2012 at 6:05 am

The American Civil War, was it really all that great?

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Ah, the American Civil War. Yesterday’s post was a book review about a battle in same, and I ended it by making some rather controversial remarks about the American Civil War. There are a couple of topics that tend to be hot button issues for Americans, and the American Civil War is one of them. I’ve wanted to express some of my thinking on same, and yesterday was the perfect time to introduce it. Before I go on though, by hot button issue, I specifically mean an issue where there is strong bipartisan social pressure to adhere to the approved consensus narrative about the same. IE, if you’re not down with Lincoln freeing the slaves being a good thing in America, a lot of people are going to react with anger.

So let’s have a look at the American Civil War. The War Between the States, 1861-1865. The southern states, the Confederacy, withdrew from the Union, and started a war by firing on Fort Sumter. The northern states, the Union, led by the redoubtable Abraham Lincoln, ultimately prevailed, freeing the slaves, and bringing the southern states back into the United States. I mean yeah, everyone grants that it was a terrible war, but the end result was worth it. This is pretty much the standard history, for most Americans, right?

Well, I’d like to make a number of points, hopefully in some sort of coherent order. And this is in the spirit of fostering thoughtful discussion and examining the issues, no offence is meant to anyone. (Um, I may be using incendiary language though, as a rhetorical device.) And this is the first point, why do people get angry if their view of the Civil War is challenged? We’re talking a war that ended over 150 years ago, the people involved are long dead, yet it still emotionally current? There’s a lot that could be going on here, but I think it’s safe to say that the story of the Civil War is a central theme in the American identity, so to question the Civil War is to question people’s core values and identities. Who wouldn’t feel angry or defensive? At the very least, if someone saying “bad things” about the Civil War makes a person  mad, I suggest it’s a good moment for some introspection.

Moving right along, let’s try another track, as John Galt’s observation helped clarify my thinking on. OK, dozens of the world’s most modern rapidly industrializing nations, many of them with nascent parliamentary democracies, recognize that slavery is at best an unnecessary and embarrassing anachronism from a pre-industrial age, and at worst a medieval abomination. And these nations, each and every one, manage to peacefully abolish the institution of slavery. Well, all but one. In the most industrialized and arguably the most democratic nation, slavery isn’t abolished until decades later, and requires a war that kills and maims about a million people. The USA was the last modern country to abolish slavery and it took the worst war in American history to do it … how in the name of God is that not an EPIC FAIL? There was a worse way the US could have abolished slavery? They could have waited longer? Had a bigger war?

This leads into another point. The usual claim made by Civil War apologists is that Lincoln had “no choice.” That the South started the war, and his only alternative was to pursue it to the end. Um, if the South had invaded the North, this might be true. Or close to true. The South didn’t. Instead, some local Southern troops fired cannons at a US fort, a fort deep in southern territory that the United States was only trying to hold onto to provoke a war. In fact Lincoln deliberately sent supply ships to Fort Sumter hoping that the Confederates would fire on them. They did him one better and fired on the fort itself (killing no one btw,) giving Lincoln the Casus Beli he craved and seized with both hands. I’m sorry, but if one side is trying to provoke a war, and provokes the other side into firing a few cannons … how in the name of God is that justification for a four year war of conquest? It takes two fools to have a fight, Lincoln was at the very least equally culpable for the war as the Confederates.

And speaking of Lincoln, the man suspended the Bill of Rights and assumed powers far beyond his constitutional authority to promulgate the war on the South. If one believes it was all worth it, I guess. It however set a terrible precedent, and to this day Presidents wrap themselves in the mantle of the Civil War, where anything goes because the USA is a benevolent conqueror! Lincoln didn’t invade the South, no, he liberated it and freed the slaves! And his keeping the Union together prevented endless future wars between the states! Lastly there’s the slaves. I mean, how can anyone have problems with freeing the slaves?

Well. Let’s look at this a bit. To accept the idea that Lincoln freed the slaves … one has to accept the idea that freedom is a commodity or a privilege that can be bestowed upon others. Is that really what freedom is? And doesn’t the idea that whites “bestowed” freedom on blacks imply that whites are the true “owners” of freedom? There’s something more than a little condescending and patronizing about the idea that Lincoln freed the slaves, and I wonder if the parallels with a certain saviour myth are part of the reason Lincoln as saviour is so unquestioned. It’s all especially disturbing in light of what happened afterwards. The now “free” slaves in the south spent the next 100 years being systematically deprived of their civil rights while being terrorized by the Klu Klux Klan and local law enforcement. If the North fought the Civil War to “free” the slaves, they didn’t seem to give a rat’s ass what happened to them afterwards. How noble is that?

In conclusion, I submit that at the very least that it’s debatable just how good and glorious the American Civil War was. Which if we are honest with ourselves, should make us question whether the USA’s “we’re invading them for the noblest of reasons” really holds water. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, these are my opinions. I do hope to stimulate interesting discussion at the very least.

(The above image was created in 1864 by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly, so it is pubic domain under US copyright law. I chose it for reasons I hope my astute readers can discern. Tomorrow, just for fun, I will explore some hypothetical alternatives to the Civil War.)

Written by unitedcats

November 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm

KOREAN NUCLEAR NIGHTMARES

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December 2nd, 2010. During American and South Korean naval manoeuvres in the Yellow Sea near North Korea a nuclear explosion occurs, sinking a dozen major warships including the American carrier USS George Washington. At least ten thousand American and South Korean sailors and servicemen are killed, and of course the world media goes nuts. Just in time for the five o’clock news on the USA East Coast. Film of the mushroom cloud rising is played non stop on every channel, the talking heads fall all over themselves blathering, and within the hour President Obama held a live conference where he blamed North Korea for the “attack,” and gave them one hour to unconditionally surrender or the USA would respond with nuclear weapons. He also added, to the delight of the war party, and horror of level heads everywhere, that anyone who objected would also be targeted for nuclear attack. Bipartisan support for Obama was effusive after the conference.

North Korea denied the accusations, and China called for a 72 hour cooling off period and an emergency session of the UN Security Council. Most other countries also called for calm, but world stock markets crashed big time and any country with a military worthy of the name went to top readiness levels. At the one hour mark North Korea officially repudiated the charges, and said there would be “unlimited retaliation” if the USA or South Korea attacked North Korea.

Ninety minutes after the sinking of the George Washington over a dozen American tactical nuclear weapons detonated over North Korea, with dozens more in the hours that followed. The targets appeared to be North Korea artillery positions overlooking Seoul, and North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities. North Korea artillery immediately began shelling Seoul, though not with anywhere near the numbers of shells that the nay sayers had predicted. Nonetheless millions of people packed up and fled, complicating efforts to rush troops northwards.

Six days later, it was over. A dazed North Korean general, apparently the highest ranking surviving member of the North Korean military and political leadership, was dragged from a bunker as he shouted “We surrender, we surrender.” The US press had shown Americans nothing but an endless array of military porn during the “war,” and Americans were dancing in the streets when it was over.

Meanwhile, almost unreported in the American press, Iran had been granted full membership in the SCO, the Russian-Chinese alliance. And in fact Russia and China announced that the SCO was now a military alliance dedicated to defending against the USA. Dozens of other countries applied to join the SCO, including Cuba, Venezuela, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. China and pretty much every country dumped their dollars, leaving it about as valuable as toilet paper. Germany and Japan declared an alliance, and revealed they already possessed a significant nuclear arsenal. NATO was in complete disarray. Anti-American riots and demonstrations around the world were too numerous to mention.

What happens next? Who knows. What’s my point? Well, as is often the case, I have many points. The first and foremost being that people did a terrible job of predicting World War One and World War Two. While there were plenty of people saying “this can’t be good,” and even some predicting accurate subsets of the future like “You know, battleships aren’t the ultimate weapon anymore,” if you’d asked a million people including all the world’s historians to write down in 1938 what was going to transpire in the next ten years, I doubt any of them would have come even close to what actually happened.

Yet many people continue to believe that they understand what’s going on in the world, and that if only their simplistic solutions were applied, all would be well. I don’t. I know my hypothetical situation above is just one of an infinite number of possibilities. And while I don’t know the specifics, I am in the “This can’t be good” crowd. The USA and South Korea seem bound and determined to provoke North Korea. In my hypothetical scenario above, anyone could have set of that nuclear weapon. And it wouldn’t need to be a nuclear weapon, if the American aircraft carrier George Washington sank like the recent ill fated Cheonan, the short term results would be equally as unpleasant and unpredictable.

I also think that the flow of history, regionally and globally, has two speeds. “Idle” and “Oh Shit.” Most of the time in most places, nations are making decisions that ensure a modicum of stability. I mean face it, if a gang is one of the lucky 300 odd gangs to actually rule a  nation on this planet, staying in power and playing it safe are the top priorities, upsetting the applecart could lead to all sorts of unpleasantness. However, at other times in history, shit happens. The world wars. The Napoleonic wars. The USA civil War. People throw caution to the wind and make risky decisions. And all parties involve basically up the ante until the situation is resolved. Much blood and expense involved.

And often there is some sort of transition or warning event that leads to this state change so to speak. The Tonkin Gulf Incident. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. The shelling of Fort Sumter. And lately I’m wondering if such an event has occurred or is about to occur near Korea.  Especially with the FBI so determined to show us that we are under terrorist “threat.” Coming next, my long awaited post about Obama the Destroyer. What can I say, I seem to be morbidly fascinated by current events these days.

(The above image is Public Domain under US copyright law. It’s a 21 kiloton underwater nuclear weapons test, known as Operation Crossroads (Event Baker), conducted at Bikini Atoll  in 1946. Yes, those are ships, captured Japanese ships and obsolete American ships. Some animals were harmed in the making of this photograph. I chose it because it nicely illustrates the post, it’s a cool pic, and shows just how horrible nuclear weapons are. One last point, George Washington would be appalled that a warship designed to project American military might world wide was named after him, it’s the antithesis of everything he fought and worked for. )

 

 

 

 

Written by unitedcats

December 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

ALLIES HELPLESS AS FLEETS OF UNSTOPPABLE NAZI STEALTH BOMBERS POUND NEW YORK, LONDON, AND WASHINGTON

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1943, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the commander of Germany’s Air Force, issued his now famous “1000, 1000, 1000.” requirements, the so called  “3 X 1000 project.” This was a call for a bomber that could carry a 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) load for 1,000 km (620 mi) at 1,000 km/h (620 mph. ) And the already famous Horten Brothers, aeronautical designers of some note,  stepped up to the plate, and hit the ball out of the park. The Horten Brothers had been experimenting with gliders since the 1930s. They had reasoned that an aircraft that had no fuselage, in effect was a flying wing, would have a lot less drag than normal aircraft, and thus be vastly more fuel efficient. They had a huge lead on other developers, and within a year had a working prototype of the Ho 229 in the air. It performed admirably on trials, being the only aircraft that came even close to the 3 X 1000 requirements. Heck, it even exceeded them, one version of the bomber could actually reach New York and Washington with its efficient flying wing design. Reichsmarschall  Göring was more than impressed, and as a close confident of Hitler, had no trouble convincing him to give priority to the project. Hitler’s obsession with bombers didn’t hurt, and by spring of 1944,  the Ho 229 and its sister models were in full production.

The rest, as they say, is history. Did I mention that the Ho 229 had one other remarkable feature? As a benefit of its fuselageless design and paint designed to absorb microwave radiation, the Ho 229 was essentially invisible to the radars of 1944. That’s why the Allies were caught by complete surprise in i944 during Allied D-Day landings at Normandy … where Hitler decided it was time to send his secret weapon into action. Squadrons of high altitude, high speed, German stealth bombers suddenly appeared, sinking anything that floated in the English Channel. Well, they didn’t really appear, since they were invisible to radar and flew too high and fast to be seen. Essentially bombs falling from invisible bombers in the sky doomed the Normandy landings of June 6th 1944. In weeks it was over, hundreds of thousands of American, British, and Canadian troops had surrendered, and the vast majority of the best troops the western allies had were in labour camps in Germany.

It got worse, within days of the disaster at Normandy, streams of bombs were falling from the sky in London, New York, and Washington. “Panic” would be an understatement. Millions of Americans fled from an enemy that could neither be seen nor fought. The Horton bombers flew too high for most interceptors and all antiaircraft. Their speed and radar invisibility made them essentially invulnerable to what fighters could reach them. And the Germans weren’t stupid either. They had suffered years of strategic bombing raids themselves, they knew what hurt and what didn’t. While the raids spread panic among the general public, it was clear that the raids were not random, key communications, transport, and energy centres were under constant attack. By the end of 1944 the American economy was in worse shape than at the height of the great depression. Even if it had been politically possible, the USA simply couldn’t continue the war under such a relentless bombardment. It was over.

On May 7th 1945 the western allies signed the Treaty of Nuremberg, ending the war in the west. Hitler danced a little jig at the signing, Roosevelt had a stroke and died within hours. The Russians vowed to drive on, but within weeks streams of German bombs dropping invisibly from the sky had shown Stalin the error of his ways. In fact it may even have unhinged his mind, since he surrendered unconditionally to Hitler on September 2 1945. World War Two was over, grasping victory from the jaws of defeat, Hitler the Great had unified Europe and ushered in an era of German cultural hegemony that would last for 1000 years.

***

Obviously this is fictional, almost everyone knows that the Normandy landings were the beginning of the end for Hitler’s third Reich, and no squadrons of German stealth bombers attacked New York or any other target. The Ho 229 was real though, and a working prototype was built. It was however lost in a crash. And the Germans never had the time to continue development, let alone build a fleet of war winning stealth bombers. The inspiration for this post came from this article where the efforts of a modern group to build and test an Ho 229 are chronicled, it has lots of pictures. And essentially it is correct, the Ho 229 and its derivatives were indeed stealth aircraft, designed and built decades before the USA’s stealth program got off the ground.

So how likely is the above scenario? In my estimation, not a chance. I know articles and shows like to portray Hitler’s secret weapons as  “war winning weapons” if they’d “only had a little more time,” but such and analysis is shallow and facile. One has to make so many history changing assumptions to make the Ho 229 a war winning weapon that it’s basically a fantasy story. One has to assume that Hitler didn’t cancel all his weapons research in 1940 for example. Then they had to manufacture these planes in secret in large quantities. Tricky, but not impossible. Then they had to come up with fuel for them, and that’s getting pretty iffy, aviation fuel was in desperately short supply in Germany by mid war. Then they had to both come up with effective tactics for using these new planes, and to somehow train the aircrew to fly them using the new tactics, a tall order indeed. Germany wasn’t even able to make effective use of what jets they did built because of these limitations, and these are problems that no super weapon is magically going to fix.

And even then, would a few hundred or even a  few thousand Ho 229s have turned the tide of the war? I can’t think of any way they could have done so. My Normandy scenario above is silly, hitting ships with high altitude bombers had laughable results the times it was tried during the war. Ships are tiny, the ocean is huge. And even thousands of tons of bombs dropped on US cities wouldn’t have had a significant effect on the US economy and ability to wage war. And no doubt would have made Americans want to surrender about as much as the German blitz on London crushed English morale and determination to keep fighting. And stopping the onrushing Soviet juggernaut with high altitude bombers is even more laughable a prospect.

And sure, one can make a case that they could have been used at low altitudes, especially since there was a fighter version of the Ho 229. However, while the Ho 229 was an amazing plane, at low altitude they would most certainly have suffered heavy losses fro anti-aircraft and allied fighters, they were good but not invincible. And, frankly, a good thing too. Even fantasy scenarios where Hitler wins are a bit creepy. The world would be different, and not the good kind of different.

Many more images and videos of Hitler’s stealth aircraft can be seen here.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, is central to illustrating the post, and its use here in co conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and Copyright: Kyle Scott. Although his fine illustrations are all over the net, I couldn’t find a web site of his or I’d link to it. I will be making more posts on Germany’s secret weapons during World War Two because, well, it’s fun. Secret weapons rarely, if ever, win wars, but they do make for good blog posts.)

Written by unitedcats

September 29, 2010 at 7:52 am